Serb Police Questions Milosevic-Era Minister Over Company Sale

Serbian police are questioning Milan Beko, the former Yugoslav privatization minister, for his role in the sale of a company in Belgrade and his links with Miroslav Miskovic, Serbia’s richest man, web portal B92 said.

Serbia has stepped up its fight against corruption as part of effort to convince the European Union it’s fit to start membership talks. The government is reviewing the past sale of 24 companies after criticism from the European Parliament, including the sale of Luka Beograd AD, the company operating a river port in Belgrade.

Beko’s Luxembourg-based Worldfin fund bought 40 percent of Luka Beograd AD in 2005 from the Serbian state-run Share Fund and later purchased stake from small shareholders at a price the Serbian anti-corruption watchdog estimated to have been 2.5 times below the market value. Beko, who served as privatization minister during the rule of former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, oversaw the sale of a minority stake in Telekom Srbija AD to Greek and Italian buyers in 1997.

Police arrested Miskovic on Dec. 12 on fraud allegations, after having him questioned twice, starting Dec. 3, 2012.

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